Hogan Lovells advises joint administrators PwC on pre-pack sale of UK convenience store operator McColl's

Hogan Lovells advises joint administrators PwC on pre-pack sale of UK convenience store operator McColl's

Press releases | 09 May 2022

LONDON, 9 May 2022 – Global law firm Hogan Lovells, led by Business Restructuring and Insolvency partners Debbie Gregory and James Maltby, has advised PwC on their appointment as joint administrators of seven companies within the McColl’s group, as part of completing a pre-pack administration sale of the business and assets of the group to Morrisons. 

McColl’s runs a network of over 1,200 convenience stores and newsagents across the UK, with five million weekly customers and a turnover of over £1 billion. The sale successfully transfers all 16,000 employees and the Group’s defined benefit pension schemes which have more than 2,000 members.  

“This is a fantastic outcome for McColl’s and all its stakeholders and we are pleased to have played our part in securing a rescue for this neighbourhood retailer which has been part of communities across the UK for over 100 years”, said Hogan Lovells partner Debbie Gregory. 

The group has faced financial pressure over recent years resulting from Covid-19 related disruption and supply chain challenges and has been supported by its lenders and commercial stakeholders through this period whilst long term solutions were explored. 

Partner James Maltby added: “We are delighted to have supported the excellent PwC team, led by Toby Banfield, Gavin Stoner, Rob Lewis and Rachel Wilkinson, on this significant rescue. This is a great example of our distressed M&A capabilities and credit goes to the whole Hogan Lovells team for executing this complex transaction in a tight timeframe whilst the business was under pressure.”

The Hogan Lovells team advising the administrators included Business Restructuring and Insolvency senior associates Lucy Xu and Naomi Parmar and associate Mary-Beth Frater with key support from a cross-practice transaction team: litigation partner Oliver Humphrey; real estate partner Oliver Chamberlain and senior associate David Horan; pensions partner Katie Banks; employment partner Stefan Martin; corporate partner Tom Brassington; competition partner Angus Coulter and counsel Alice Wallace-Wright; and commercial and strategic operations counsel Oliver Wilson.